The ongoing debate over who the greatest NBA player of all time is generally comes down to two individuals: Michael Jordan and LeBron James.
Generally, younger players who didn’t really witness Jordan’s run tend to gravitate towards James. Jordan’s contemporaries, meanwhile, usually regard him as their GOAT.
This week, that changed.
In his new book, Unguardable, Jordan’s former teammate and running mate Scottie Pippen decided to take a slightly different position.
“I may go as far to say Mike ruined basketball,” Pippen wrote. “In the 80s on the playgrounds you’d have everyone moving the ball around — passing to help the team. That stopped in the 90s. Kids wanted to be ‘Like Mike.’
“Well, Mike didn’t want to pass — didn’t want to rebound, or defend the best player. He wanted everything done for him. That’s why I always believed LeBron James was the greatest player this game has ever seen — he does everything and embodies what the game is truly about.”
The photos speak for themselves. https://t.co/qPAxSBkTfm
— Game 7 (@game7__) November 14, 2021
That said, biased or not, Pippen’s opinion cannot simply be discounted because he hates Jordan now. He is also an all-time great, and his assessment carries weight.
Does Pippen calling James the GOAT make it so? Obviously not. But should it be considered when the debate is held? Absolutely.
Jennifer Withers Hoey is a former Business Development Manager who transitioned to writing about sports. With valuable connections all over the West Coast, she has used those contacts to break some of the most interesting stories pertaining to the Portland Trail Blazers, Oregon Ducks, LA Lakers, LA Clippers, Seattle Supersonics (RIP), and more.